Need Pool Placement Suggestions for Backyard

Musmin2415

Active member
Oct 15, 2012
26
Alright, so we just moved into this house last year, and we're at a point where we want to put in an AGP. However, as much as we love our backyard, there are slopes and dips, and we're looking for suggestions. I've attached some pictures taken from our back deck, which is about 6' off the ground. Ideally, we'd like to build a short staircase down to a second deck, which will go right to an oval pool 15' x 20'-30' x 52" (depth). I'm hoping you can get a good idea of what I'm talking about from the attached pics and ariel view. I guess my main initial concerns revolve around two things:
1.) How should I deal with the notable slope (approx. 20 degrees), which slopes upward towards our back fence? The slope evens out a bit as it goes away from our house. Should I build up the ground by adding dirt or building a kind of retaining wall with a LOT of pavers? (Problem: Could cause more rain water to pool closer to our house than it already does.) Or should we dig into the slope, essentially making it partially in-ground?
2.) With a pool that is 15' across, how much space should I actually plan for to make sure I have enough room on either side of the pool?

Sorry, I know I'm probably not explaining this well, but any suggestions on pool placement and land prep would be helpful.
overhead.jpgBY 2.jpgBY .jpg
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
3,245
NY
I know just the gal for you..........

The princess of planning,
the countess of construction,
the dutchess of digging
the godess of gunite

@kimkats

(But she is SUPER down to earth so you can just call her Your Royal Maj)
 
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Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
533
Orlando
Looking at your picture, the one thing I will say is that most cities have setback requirements and your pool and deck probably need to be a certain distance from your property line. Possibly as much as 10 feet or more. From your proposed overhead view it looks like the corner of your deck and the corner of the pool might get pretty close to your fence.
 
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Musmin2415

Active member
Oct 15, 2012
26
Ok, I can check into that. But aside from that, let’s assume that regardless of where we place the pool, we’re not going to avoid the slope. Is it better to build the land up? Or dig into the slight hill, maybe placing a “wall” of pavers near the fence? And regardless of which option we choose, I’d like to attempt to rent the equipment and do it myself with some help. What would the process be?

Looking at your picture, the one thing I will say is that most cities have setback requirements and your pool and deck probably need to be a certain distance from your property line. Possibly as much as 10 feet or more. From your proposed overhead view it looks like the corner of your deck and the corner of the pool might get pretty close to your fence.
 

kimkats

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Jul 10, 2012
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You rang????? :thequeen: The BLING QUEEN is in the house!!

Is it better to build the land up? Or dig into the slight hill, maybe placing a “wall” of pavers near the fence?
This is where we start for sure!! You do NOT build up the ground with out some way to enclose the dirt and that will end up costing a LOT more and it may settle over time causing more problems.

Dig into the hill AND put up a proper retaining wall. Pavers will not cut it as it could cause wash out under the pool.

So what I see happening is this:
-fence side- digging into the hill and having that side of the pool right there. Put a retaining wall right by the pool. Make sure it is wide enough for you to be able to walk on so you can brush or vacuum from that side.
-I LOVE the idea of the new deck coming right up to the house side of the pool. I would go the whole length of the pool and at least on one short end as well. I would put the steps out of the pool on the short side closes to the house side of the pool. That will give you a good swim lane on the other side of the short side.

Do you know how to drive that kind of toy?

Kim:kim:
 
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Musmin2415

Active member
Oct 15, 2012
26
You rang????? :thequeen: The BLING QUEEN is in the house!!


This is where we start for sure!! You do NOT build up the ground with out some way to enclose the dirt and that will end up costing a LOT more and it may settle over time causing more problems.

Dig into the hill AND put up a proper retaining wall. Pavers will not cut it as it could cause wash out under the pool.

So what I see happening is this:
-fence side- digging into the hill and having that side of the pool right there. Put a retaining wall right by the pool. Make sure it is wide enough for you to be able to walk on so you can brush or vacuum from that side.
-I LOVE the idea of the new deck coming right up to the house side of the pool. I would go the whole length of the pool and at least on one short end as well. I would put the steps out of the pool on the short side closes to the house side of the pool. That will give you a good swim lane on the other side of the short side.

Do you know how to drive that kind of toy?

Kim:kim:
Hey there!! LOL -- I loved your 'entrance' to this thread! And thank you so much for all the input! I have some questions / comments, so when you have time, just get back with me if you don't mind.

I'm completely on board with all your suggestions! I guess my first initial hurdle will be dealing with all the setback and easement requirements (which I've been on the phone with the city most of the morning about). I need to be 3' away from the back fence, and I need to be aware of any rain water drain issue, 'call before you dig', where is my sewer line, etc. etc. I guess my main questions for you at this point are:
- Is the excavating / leveling something I can do myself? (You asked if I could 'drive that kind of toy'. Haha! I haven't before, but I hope I can catch on!)
- I've googled regarding the 'best brands of agp's', but I was wondering what your suggestion would be? Intex / Bestway? EDIT: I just ran across "the pool factory" website. Is the setup and construction of their pools basically the same as an intex pool? Or are those types of agp's a completely different monster? (I'm the same as everyone else, I'm guessing -- I want it to look nice, but I don't want to break the bank.)

Anyway, thanks again for the input!

Eric
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
3,245
NY
Is the excavating / leveling something I can do myself
Yes and no. Many moons ago i worked at a rental store that also had a bobcat and backhoe. I taught people how to use them both in about 15 minutes combined. Some people just had the feel for leveling/ digging and others made more of a mess than they fixed.

Is the setup and construction of their pools basically the same as an intex pool? Or are those types of agp's a completely different monster? (I'm the same as everyone else, I'm guessing -- I want it to look nice, but I don't want to break the bank.)
With above grounds you basically have 3 options. The intex types are fast easy and cheap. They also need replacing the most. The basic ones are the blue bag with white pipes and although they do have fancier models, its still the same general construction. Next up is an aluminum above ground pool thats hard walled. It can last 15+ years with a few liner replacements. Finally is the resin or mostly resin above ground pools that can be partially or fully buried. These can last as long as a traditional inground pool, but the cost can also get very close to full inground pools.

Basically, and discounts or add ons can halve or double this.... but intex's start around $1000, regular ABG closer to $5k (installed) and the premier ABGs start around $10k but can be customized up to $18k+.(installed)
 

Musmin2415

Active member
Oct 15, 2012
26
Yes and no. Many moons ago i worked at a rental store that also had a bobcat and backhoe. I taught people how to use them both in about 15 minutes combined. Some people just had the feel for leveling/ digging and others made more of a mess than they fixed.
Well, I'm one of those guys that will try anything once, just to say that I can do it. However, I also want it done right. I have a couple companies coming by to give me a quote, so I'll see what kind of $$$ they're talking about and how that compares with just renting some for a day or two. I would need to youtube some videos on how to actually tell when it's leveled, though.

With above grounds you basically have 3 options. The intex types are fast easy and cheap. They also need replacing the most. The basic ones are the blue bag with white pipes and although they do have fancier models, its still the same general construction. Next up is an aluminum above ground pool thats hard walled. It can last 15+ years with a few liner replacements. Finally is the resin or mostly resin above ground pools that can be partially or fully buried. These can last as long as a traditional inground pool, but the cost can also get very close to full inground pools.
This is exactly what I was looking for, and that makes sense. I would really like to stay away from the white pipe frame (and similar models), because we had that at our last home and we replaced the liner about once every other year at least. Plus, towards the end, the pipes were rusting pretty bad. I just don't want to be replacing parts every season or every other season. So, I'm GUESSING I'm looking more towards the aluminum above ground pool?? However, if we're going to wrap a deck halfway around it, do the 'fancy' hard-walled sides matter? I guess I just need to look into more of the pro's and con's of those 3 options. I just don't know what to look for when looking for quality, but also affordability. Do you have any suggestions on sites / brands for the middle-of-the-road option?

Basically, and discounts or add ons can halve or double this.... but intex's start around $1000, regular ABG closer to $5k (installed) and the premier ABGs start around $10k but can be customized up to $18k+.(installed)
Continuing on from my thought above, I would be ok with staying around the $5k mark (installed). And by that, I take it you mean me doing most of the work, and not hiring someone else to come in and install it :)

Thanks again for all the info! Great stuff!!!
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
3,245
NY
I just don't know what to look for when looking for quality, but also affordability. Do you have any suggestions on sites / brands for the middle-of-the-road option?
Kim is involved already but probably enjoying that Florida sunshine today. Lets call some of our other ABG pros too.

@Bama Rambler, @woodyp, @Casey, @zea3, @scout123, thoughts on good pool brands that wont break the bank ?
Continuing on from my thought above, I would be ok with staying around the $5k mark (installed). And by that, I take it you mean me doing most of the work, and not hiring someone else to come in and install it
$5k was installed give or take. You can upgrade the equipment or go huge for $6k. DIY on a standard medium size ABG is probably $3500.
 
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Bama Rambler

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Let's lay this out in steps.
  1. As mentioned, leveling the ground from the lowest point is the proper way to install the pool.
  2. The first question to ask yourself is how long you want this pool to last? If it's a few years (~10) then most any steel walled pool will work. If it's as long as possible then you want to look at premium steel walled pools, aluminum walled pools and resin pools.
  3. Where do you envision placing the equipment? Keep in mind that the filter will need regular maintenance.
    1. Is there electricity service near there?
  4. You said that you have to stay 3' away from the fence, does that include any decking? If so, then you actually have to stay 3' plus the width of the decking if you decide to have decking all around the pool. Just something to think about.
  5. As for leveling, if you're handy you can certainly handle the leveling. However, most people underestimate the amount of manual labor that's involved to get the ground level and compacted even if using a bobcat/tractor to the the majority of the earth moving. Plus what are you going to do with the dirt you have left over?
  6. And last (for now), what is your insurance companies requirements for fencing especially since one side of it will be less than 48" above the ground?
In conclusion I'd say shop around and work out a deal that you can be happy about.
 
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Musmin2415

Active member
Oct 15, 2012
26
Let's lay this out in steps.
  1. As mentioned, leveling the ground from the lowest point is the proper way to install the pool.
  2. The first question to ask yourself is how long you want this pool to last? If it's a few years (~10) then most any steel walled pool will work. If it's as long as possible then you want to look at premium steel walled pools, aluminum walled pools and resin pools.
  3. Where do you envision placing the equipment? Keep in mind that the filter will need regular maintenance.
    1. Is there electricity service near there?
  4. You said that you have to stay 3' away from the fence, does that include any decking? If so, then you actually have to stay 3' plus the width of the decking if you decide to have decking all around the pool. Just something to think about.
  5. As for leveling, if you're handy you can certainly handle the leveling. However, most people underestimate the amount of manual labor that's involved to get the ground level and compacted even if using a bobcat/tractor to the the majority of the earth moving. Plus what are you going to do with the dirt you have left over?
  6. And last (for now), what is your insurance companies requirements for fencing especially since one side of it will be less than 48" above the ground?
In conclusion I'd say shop around and work out a deal that you can be happy about.
Thanks a lot for the feedback! Here's where I'm at on your points (starting with #2):
2.) Well, I have three kids ranging from 6yo to 17yo, so I would say I'd like to shoot for 10 years. Plus, we just bought the house last year, so unless my job situation changes, I could see us retiring there. I really think in this case, it depends on how well it turns out. And by that I mean -- if it turns into a place that we're proud of and that we will comfortably gather as a family and with friends -- then I can easily see 10 years. (Btw, we'll be doing this in phases and the deck will come later this year or next spring.) Also, I've looked online at places like "The Pool Factory" and "Royal Swimming Pool", and I'm seeing options like 'coated steel' vs 'galvanized steel' vs 'full resin' vs 'partial resin'..... and I'm googling it all, but I wish someone would just say, "You''re looking for something that's middle of the road (approx. $3500 or less) that will last you in Kansas weather? This is what you need....."​
3.) Equipment will be under my current deck that will also double as some outside storage space. I have an electrician friend that will pull a line for me.​
4.) Yeah, I measured it out last night and I've been in touch with the city. I will only have decking on one narrow end and along the side of the pool closest to the house. I also realize that with, say, a 15' (wide) pool, I'll need a total of 18' of available space. I'm guessing I'll need around 21'-22'. So, I'm envisioning that the pool will start around the point where my current deck ends.​
5.) Definitely a valid point. It honestly depends on what quotes come back on leveling a ~20' x 30' area.​
6.) I'm not sure I understand what you mean by my fence being less than 48" above the ground.​

And again, thank you for your time. I definitely don't expect to just be spoon-fed information and have my decisions made for me. I've spent A LOT of time making calls, googling, and researching, but sometimes there's just an overwhelming amount of information that overloads my decision-making process. In those times, I'm very grateful for forums like these.
 
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Newdude

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Jun 16, 2019
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NY
I definitely don't expect to just be spoon-fed information and have my decisions made for me. I've spent A LOT of time making calls, googling, and researching, but sometimes there's just an overwhelming amount of information that overloads my decision-making process. In those times, I'm very grateful for forums like these.
It is a HUGE decision made up of 100 possibilities of other decisions. It’s overwhelming at times. Sometimes having everyone’s opinions can make it even more confusing. But In the end you have a bunch of new folks chiming in with their thoughts and you can decide what’s best for you. Thanks for letting us take the ride with you.
 
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Bama Rambler

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2) This is something you and your family is going to have to decide on your own. If you haven't, I highly recommend you visit some local pool companies to see what they have to offer. You may be surprised. One thing to make sure of when picking a pool is that installing a swcg doesn't void the warranty. Also get the quotes with as large a filter as offered and at very least a 2-speed pump. (I recommend a 200 sqft cartridge filter (favorite) or a 24" sand filter.)

3) Refer back to my statement about filter maintenance. A lot of people install the equipment under the deck and wind up regretting it. You'll need a couple feet clear above the top of the filter or you'll have to have a removable section to access the filter.

4) It's good that you're allowing extra space.

5) Don't forget to include equipment rental when deciding whether to DIY it or have it done.

6) If the top of the pool wall is 48" above the ground a lot of cities and insurance companies don't require a fence to be erected. If it's not 48" to the top of the pool then a separate fence and other rules apply, such as automatic closing gates, etc..
 

kimkats

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Jul 10, 2012
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Tallahassee, FL
Well looks like I got back after most of the heavy lifting happened already! THANKS everyone!!!

Get as much "resin" as you can. I have resin supports, top and bottom rails, and upper caps. They do not rust.

Kim:kim:
 
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